Mariánské Lázne is a famous urological spa, Františkovy Lázne is a gynaecological centre, and the waters of Lázne Kynžvart are reportedly beneficial to children.
The oldest and best known spa town is Karlovy Vary, which was founded in 1358 by the Holy Roman emperor Charles IV, and is a good base for touring the area whether on four wheels or two skis. Here people stand around the taps in the town square helping themselves to cup after cup of curative water, which comes out of the ground at 52-70C.
Most top hotels, such as the Kolonáda ([email protected], doubles, with treatment, from around £105), offer spa treatments, so staff are used to dealing with people who have complaints.
But nowhere looks after shocking skiers and very poorly dressed tourists better than the Czechs.Liberec-Jizera, home of the country's longest cross-country ski race, is also the place for sledging and tobogganing.Sumava may be the largest and best-equipped Czech ski area of all, boasting centres such as Zelezna Ruda-Spícák, Vrchlabí, Harrachov and Pec pod Snežkou.The locals don't seem to mind if you are not one of the beautiful people.In fact, they encourage it – thrown into some all-inclusive ski holiday packages is advice on controlling obesity.The gentle gradients take you across plains, over snow-capped basalt peaks and through Christmas tree-lined valleys to tiny hamlets such as Mikulov and Abertamy.I followed a signpost pointing towards "God", which turned out to be a tumbledown farm, no doubt equipped with a manger.A stay for two in an apartment including a two-day ski pass costs €89pp.Its closing-week deal, from 4-, costs €170pp for four staying seven nights, including a six-day ski pass. A week with Gatwick flights departing 5 January and transfers costs £229pp, if booked before 31 October.The Directski deal (directski.com) is self-catering at the three-star La Riviere apartments, based on four sharing.Fun for beginners, intermediates and northern lights spotters.